Diane Glancy

Contributor Biography

Diane Glancy is known as one of the greatest modern Native American writers.

In 2010, Salt Publishing published The Salt Companion to Diane Glancy. Glancy is professor emerita at Macalester College. Currently she teaches at Carlow University and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Her current books include Island of the Innocent, a Consideration of the Book of Job (Turtle Point Press, 2020) and A Line

of Driftwood, the Ada Blackjack Story (Turtle Point Press, 2021). Forthcoming in 2022 is Home is the Road, Wandering the Land, Shaping the Spirit (Broadleaf Books, 2022). So prolific a writer, Glancy has authored more than 30 poetry collections, over 25 prose works, some 10 plays, and nonfiction too. A recipient of numerous arts grants and fellowships, she has garnered accolades such as the American Book Award, Capricorn Prize for Poetry, Charles Nilon Fiction Award, Cherokee Medal of Honor, Emily Dickinson Poetry Prize, Five Civilized Tribes Playwriting Laureate Prize, Juniper Prize, Lakes and Prairies Prize, Minnesota Book Award, Native American Prose Award, North American Indian Prose Award, Oklahoma Book Award, Oklahoma Theater Award, Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, Pushcart Prize, Stevens Poetry Prize, and William Rockhill Nelson Award. To recognise her literary contributions, Glancy received lifetime achievement awards from the Oklahoma Center for the Book and Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas.

The Gospel of Mark Ends Abruptly

Scholars believe the book ends at Mark 16:8 with

Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and

Salome at Jesus’ tomb. The last twelve verses are

thought to have been added by someone later. 

 

The crucifixion was upheaval.

Then women found the tomb empty.

 

A man sitting there said—he is not here. He has risen.

 

The women fled. They trembled. They were amazed.  

They were silent. They were afraid.

 

Here Mark stops his gospel.

Maybe intending to go on—later—when dust settled.

 

Quickly he had written the book—moving through it all—

listening to Peter who fled prison to Mark’s mother’s house

[Acts 12]—and talked for days the way Peter did hastily about

Jesus’ life, saying, this and this, and this—

and Mark wrote—nonstop—until he stopped 

and did not go on, though after death Jesus appeared 

to his disciples, saying, go into the world, 

and ascending into heaven.

 

A road through the sycamores at night—a yard-light in the distance 

Mark—if he kept writing—might have mistaken for a candle.

A Mole in Uz

She saw the everlasting glory of the Almighty’s fire 

from which he gathered animals who know only darkness.  

He took them to his pastures.  

They were pebbles in his hands.  

He baggy trousers.  

His flip-flops on the floor of heaven.  

He is over-worn at times like us.  

A hacksaw in his hand.  

He says he is with us.  

His presence almost unnoticed, 

but he turns the burnt and sodden field into tapestry.

He knows how to restore the clematis leaves, the elephant ears 

where the Araucana of Job’s wife hides her blue eggs, 

her life more ornate once the trouble passed.

Quiltline

I was taken from the house to church. It was there since the

earliest days. There was transfigurement. The pastel robes

of the disciples the sun shone through. As if a clothes-line

of stained-glass windows. A quiltline. The horizon of land

and sky where I lived. The crops in the field. The animals

in the pasture. The enormous emptiness to be transformed. 

The dearth of invisibility. Yet resurrection was offered. 

The stone rolled away. The linen clothes folded in the

empty tomb. The napkin around his head wrapped in a

place by itself—John 20:6-7.   

Texas Quilt Museum, LaGrange

These are the wounded.

The dismembered sleeves and trouser legs.

Veterans of ringer washers and clothesline hangings battered by wind.

These quilts nailed on the wall.

The pieces of fabric separated from what they had been.

Now stitched to other fabrics.

Vertical on the cross.  

Transfigured in the afterlife.

Walking on a Cloudy Night

The barn door of the clouds closed on the full moon. Its

light seen through narrow spaces between the boards of the

door. The windy night moved the barn. The moon moved

with it. The people told stories of the light hidden in the

barn. They told stories of the moon before it was seen. 

Before it was known. How it followed the earth. Changing

places. Changing shape. How could a barn hold such

light? Strange as the eternal God in a womb.

Author's Note:

"A Mole in Uz" was previously published in ISLAND OF THE INNOCENT: A Consideration of the Book of Job (Turtle Point Press, 2020).

Jack Xi

Contributor Biography

Jack Xi (they/he) is a queer Singaporean poet. They are a member of the writing collective /Stop@BadEndRhymes (stylized /s@ber) and can be found at “jackxisg.wordpress.com”. Jack has been published in OF ZOOS, Wyvern Lit, Perverse, Freeze Ray, Cartridge, and several Singaporean anthologies. 

human evolution i

words excavated from Jerry A. Coyne's ‘Why Evolution is True’

Pelting each other

with coarse language

 

among the tall rocks,

our poor design,

 

Darwin’s hollowed parsonage;

large and unbridgeable,

 

the wrath

bumps the whole folly:

 

any teacher evokes visions

with miniature spears.

 

They kill each other,

noble in the mirror.

 

Seeking absolution,

he denies his time in the trees.

 

The skeleton loses its ape— 

the face must be somewhere

 

beneath his house, hiding

and erupting.

 

It boils

religiously.

human evolution ii

words excavated from Jerry A. Coyne's ‘Why Evolution is True’

 

Universities, Normals

and all other public schools—

the whole array

icing over.

 

Covered with magnetic sand,

she may have been

a botanist: 

she had a mixture

of roots, nuts, and tubers

within her flattened bag.

 

Way across the plain of dry ash

lay hundreds of fragments of

archbishop.

 

Dusty arcade:

the building rests 

on one side, cord 

on the dry branches.

 

He reburied the body in the shade

distressed by the wet eyes, 

fingernails, knitting needles.

 

‘Dust blown into the ocean—

new “Nutcracker” production—’

she turned the volume lower.

 

Pollution transformed the desert:

clear meat dots the surface.

 

In camp, overlooking 

the same excavations,

they changed. 

 

‘No eyeglasses—unable to hunt—

bad latitude for solar—’

 

“That’s not a novel.”

she said.

 

A brushfire remains.

human evolution iv

words excavated from Jerry A. Coyne's ‘Why Evolution is True’

God thumbs an ash storm 

from an erupting volcano.

 

That storm was followed by a complex rain.

 

Sure enough, God begins 

a new miracle each day:

 

molecular gold,

 

color cast hotly 

into space

the solar system,

dragons, amber,

amylase,

 

flattened tails and

swimming muscles for

ichthyosaurs,

 

our ancestors standing in caves

holding hands, 

overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar

 

Hominid skin and muscle, since dust

from the dust of the earth God created him.

 

God’s will 

that a body find its way 

into fossilizing water,

or bats

into Darwin’s trembling hands

 

“Light.”

 

Thrown on

through time without leaving,

and we may never have enough.